Champions League: 'Book the hotel,' Jurgen Klopp backs Liverpool to reach UCL final next season
- Real Madrid defeated Liverpool 1-0 in the UCL final
- It was Real’s 14th Champions League trophy
- Vinicius Jr scored the winner for Real in Paris
Jurgen Klopp has backed Liverpool FC to make it to the Champions League final next season after the Reds suffered a heartbreaking loss in the final on Saturday.
Real Madrid held their nerves to defeat Liverpool 1-0 to claim the 2021-22 Champions League, their record-extending 14th top European title. Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois produced one of the greatest individual performances to frustrate Liverpool's scorers time and again.
Courtois denied a goal to Mohamed Salah six times, who was looking to avenge his early departure through injury in the 2018 final against Los Blancos. The Belgian gloveman was simple on another level as he helped head coach Carlo Ancelotti to script history by becoming the first-ever manager to win a fourth Champions League trophy.
Salah's six shots on target on Saturday were the most on record (since 2003-04) of any player in a single Champions League final, according to Opta Joe. Meanwhile, Courtois' nine saves were the most on record since the 2003-04 season of any goalkeeper in a single final.
After Liverpool dominated the first half thoroughly, Real retaliated with the attack in the second half as the decisive moment came after 59 minutes when Vinicius Jr netted the only goal of the final at Starc des Princes.
"In the dressing room, nobody feels it was a great season at the moment. We maybe need a few hours for that. It was the two decisions against us that were the smallest margins possible. We played a good game, not a perfect game. I don't think a perfect game is possible against an opponent set up with a deep formation. We had a lot of shots but not the clearest. Courtois made two top saves. We conceded a goal from a throw-in. Valverde wanted to shoot, Vinicius was there and that's it," Klopp told BT Sport after Liverpool's heartbreaking loss in Paris.
It was Klopp's third Champions League final with Liverpool. Out of those, two have ended in a loss to Real Madrid (2018 and 2022).
However, the German boss is confident that his "competitive" boys will come back stronger next season to challenge for the top European trophy.
"It feels different. It's not bad to get to the final. It's a kind of success. Not the success you want to have. I have a strong feeling we'll come again. The boys are really competitive. It's an outstanding group together. We will have an outstanding group next season. Where's it next season? Istanbul? Book the hotel," added Klopp in the same interview.
The Reds, who were chasing a historic quadruple, ended the 2021-22 campaign with two trophies: League Cup and FA Cup.